The most important component of your website isn’t the logo, your brand colors, or the layout—it’s your copy, the actual words you use to draw a potential customer to read more, find out how you can help them, and ultimately buy from you. If you keep the following tips in mind when writing, your customers will be more likely to call you for your product or service.
Rule 1: Stop talking about yourself!
Look at the picture above. Does that guy look obnoxious? Do you want to do business with him? When I see a website that goes on and on about themselves, this picture comes to mind.
You might think that because you are writing about your business that you should write only about your business. While that’s true in theory, what you really need to talk about is what you can do for your customer. That’s what will get a potential customer’s attention! They are on your website because they have a problem they need to solve. If you know the problem your customer is trying to solve, you can speak to them about it directly. Make sure you sound empathic and reassuring. You are the “Yoda” guiding Luke Skywalker to rescue Princess Leia. If your customer acquires your product or service, they will be ready to attack the Death Star.
A few years ago, I was doing my taxes and got stuck on some company stock that we sold. I wasn’t 100 percent sure how to report it, so, I did a quick Google search—”CPA firm near me selling CiSCO stock.” I found a CPA firm that had instructions on the exact spreadsheets they would need from Charles Schwab to file our taxes correctly.
First of all, I immediately felt so much better. This CPA firm obviously had experience reporting these stock sales. Secondly, I felt less stupid. It wasn’t as simple as just typing out what was reported on the 1099. The CPA firm needed a spreadsheet to report this. Based on the complexity of my tax return, I decided to call. It was $250 to do my taxes, but that was a no-brainer for me (since I know what happens in penalties and interest if you file your return incorrectly). So, I hired them.
If they wanted to be even more persuasive on their website, they could have stated the penalties and interest the IRS would calculate on a $500 mistake—certainly over $250. That would have made it even more obvious to me that when you aren’t sure what you’re doing on your taxes, you should hire a tax professional.
Now, I also want you to think about all the websites for CPA firms that I passed by. Their websites were attractive, but they didn’t speak directly to my problem.
Here are some snippets of bad webpage wording:
- “I have over 30 years of tax, accounting, and consulting experience.”
- “We have deep experience with tax structuring, planning, and compliance for individuals, partnerships, trusts, and corporations.”
- “We strive to provide solutions to your entire accounting structure.”
- “Our professionals have diverse backgrounds, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to our clients.”
Do I hear a collective yawn coming through my computer? Here are some good examples:
- “Our clients are US Expats that need peace of mind in their tax filings.”
- “Find out what document(s) you need to file your taxes.”
- “Tax matters can be complicated and are time sensitive…”
As a potential customer compares you and your competitors’ webpages, you want to sound knowledgeable and empathetic. Talk about your client’s pain points and speak to them.
Rule 2: Write your content like you are talking to a friend.
Rule 2: Write your content like you are talking to a friend.
Use contractions like don’t, won’t, weren’t… you get the picture. Write like you talk—but with better grammar. The rules that you learned in English class do not exactly work on the World Wide Web
In order for a potential customer to interact with you, they need to feel like they know, like, and trust you first. Who knows, likes, and trusts you? Your friends and family. Don’t load down your website with jargon and industry words that you wouldn’t use with a friend.
Here is some jargon(y) words that turn me off. (I am sure you have your own list!)
- We will leverage your…
- My company has a solid track record
- Get your ducks in a row
- Touch base
You get the idea, blah, blah, blah… No one talks to their friends like that—so don’t jargon up your website like you are a computer talking to another computer.
A friend is someone who wants to help. They only have your best interest at heart. There is a reason car salespeople have a bad reputation. No one likes the feeling that they are being “sold to.”
Also, no one likes it when you talk over their head. For me, that means I don’t use the word SEO on my home page. I shouldn’t assume anyone knows what that is. Instead, I talk about “Google searches” and “being found online.”
Rule 3: Explain the benefits of doing business with you (and why you stand out against your competitors).
Does this graphic above crack you up? If a financial planner put that on their website, I would know two things for certain: (1) they have a sense of humor, and (2) the whole point of talking to them is to help my investments and create wealth. As a customer, I would expect them to know how to talk in a way that helps me understand their opinions on how I should invest my money.
Here are some phrases that a financial planner could use that would explain the benefits of working with them:
- “Don’t pay more in taxes than you have to.”
- “We will make the most of your money.”
- “Do financial matters scare you? We will explain everything in easy-to-understand terms.”
There are quite of few financial planners (or fill in the blank for your industry) out there. What makes you stand out? Explain why I should do business with you in particular.
Rule 4: Tell a story that shows your values and creates trust.
Video is perfect for this. If you are a good speaker and people tell you that you come across sincere on video, tell your story on camera. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, write a blog post and send it around. It could help convince people to work with you.
I was challenged in a Facebook group to tell a compelling story to show my values and create trust in a potential customer. I think this sums up my value of integrity fairly well:
I met one of my first website clients over coffee last year. We had many mutual friends, but we had never met. She was telling me about her ideas for her business. She currently paints interior walls for customers. She had lots of ideas for how she could expand her business, one being that she wanted to resell furniture online. She liked refurbishing furniture at clients’ houses, and the idea of taking good quality furniture and making it look more modern really appealed to her.
I told her immediately, if that is where she wanted to take her business, she didn’t need me to create a website for her. It ended up that she still wanted a website to showcase her interior painting. She does great murals, and she thought a website would be a great way for potential customers to see her work—and she was correct!
But the moral of the story is this: I don’t build a website for someone just because they say they need one. I listen to everyone’s story and their business goals. Then, I decide if a website can help them. Want to share your story?
Not sure if you have catchy copy for your website?
Call me at 984-664-0307 or fill out my contact form.